The Maties pipped Ikeys at the post at the 7th Vino Varsity Challenge held at Backsberg Estate Cellars in Paarl on 14 of August. Though the Ikeys won both the general knowledge and the tasting rounds, the Maties came back strongly in the debate, gathering the trophy.
Last year the laurels went to the Ikeys. The annual contest involves teams from UCT, Stellenbosch and Pretoria. Judges for this year's event included Ross Sleet, David Clarke and Zaan Eksteen.
Despite its title, the competition demands some serious thought from competitors. It's divided into three sections: general knowledge (30 questions on the history of wine in SA, the world of winemaking and practices), a blind tasting and a debate.
The Ikeys had great support, winning the general knowledge section. But the blind tasting ended much closer. After the break it was time for the debate. This year each team presented an export strategy focusing on three international markets. Ikeys and Tuks put up great arguments, but it seemed the Maties were in a league of their own, knowing they had to "risk it for the biscuit".
Photo by Michael Hammond.
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